Lauding Indore's resilience in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday claimed that the novel coronavirus had found its foothold in the city in February this year.
In his first administrative visit outside Bhopal after assuming office as chief minister for the fourth term, Chouhan reached Indore on Monday morning to take stock of the Covid-19 situation prevailing in the city.
Speaking to reporters here, Chouhan claimed that Covid-19 had started knocking at state's doors in February and in the same month, it found foothold in Indore through international flights.
Earlier, Indore collector Manish Singh has also blamed international travellers for spreading coronavirus in the city.
However, Chouhan lauded the resilience of the city administration, locals, health workers and volunteer organisations in dealing with the virus. He also felicitated municipal workers early during the day, hailing their efforts.
Locals coupled with volunteer organisations set an example in service amid the coronavirus outbreak and served the migrants in their full capacity, he said.
He also met kin of those that succumbed to the virus.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters, Chouhan said that when he assumed office on March 23, he realised that the state was hardly equipped to fight the virus. "In my first review meeting, I was told that Madhya Pradesh had a testing capacity of 60 samples per day, which has now surged to 6,000 samples daily at 20 labs across the state," he said.
Chouhan claimed that recovery rate in Indore, as well as in the entire state, also improved significanlty, adding that, Madhya Pradesh's recovery rate has surged to 68% while in Indore it stood at 64%.
The number of active cases also reduced from around 3,100 earlier to around 2,600 now, said the chief minister.
We are proceeding towards winning the coronavirus situation in Indore, however, we still require not to lower our guard, said Chouhan, underlining the crucial importance of safety norms.
In the beginning of April, 2,200 tests per million population were carried out in Indore which surged to 12,400 per million in June, he claimed.
Chouhan said that the Madhya Pradesh government had tied up with private hospitals across the state and only one-third of the beds reserved for Covid-19 patients are now required to be used.
The oxygen therapy, i.e. checking the oxygen level of patients upon their admission and offering them oxygen as per their requirement, has also yeilded good results, he claimed, adding that the government is now improving oxygen supply across the state.
It was Chouhan's first visit to Indore, despite the district being number one in Covid-19 cases in the state.
The Congress had been for long slamming the chief minister for avoiding a visit to the trouble-torn district amid coronavirus outbreak.
Indore Covid-19 Review
During Chouhan's visit, Indore Collector Manish Singh informed the chief minister that the district now had 1,174 active coronavirus cases and 2,454 patients had been discharged from hospitals, adding that the district has collected about 46,000 samples so far.
Madhya Pradesh No 1 in Wheat Procurement
During his visit, Chouhan claimed that Madhya Pradesh has till now procured 1.28 crore metric tonnes of wheat, dislodging Punjab as the all-time number one wheat procuring state in the country.
Despite having dearth of sacks and procurement being delayed at many places including Indore, the state managed to overtake Punjab whose procurement was around 1.27 crore metric tonnes only, he said.
Kailash Vijayvargiya’s 'Corona Pranam' at Airport
Upon his arrival at the Indore airport, Chouhan was greeted by party workers including state BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who stood at a distance from the chief minister and folded both the hands in 'Corona Pranam' to Chouhan.